Jesus is Coming

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The below sermon on Jesus’ return takes an overview at the what the Bible has to say about Jesus’ second coming and the rapture of the church. These free inductive notes are intended as supplement to your own study, not a replacement. Feel free to copy, print, or share them. These notes can be helpful for individual study of the Word or for small group Bible studies. We hope your understanding of God’s Word is deeper from them.

Jesus is Coming Again Sermon

See part 2 of this sermon on the rapture. 

The King is Coming …… Again!

The last few Sundays’ sermons have focused on God’s promise of sending a Messiah and on that Messiah’s arrival. The birth of Jesus which we celebrated yesterday was truly one of the greatest events in history when He left heaven to come into the world and become a man. It changed everything! But you know what, that’s not the final chapter. There’s a future event that is arguably of equal importance. Let me share with you this morning the message that accompanies this event. “Jesus is Coming!” You say, “wait a minute. That’s the same message we’ve been hearing the last few weeks, isn’t it?” No, actually this morning’s message is very different, because the message today is that Jesus is coming…. Again!

Just look at what Jesus said to His disciples to comfort them the night before He went to the cross.

John 14:2-3

2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Jesus’ first coming profoundly influenced the world and His return will have equally far reaching consequences. We are all here today because of the dramatic impact Jesus first advent had on our own lives. Let’s look at the dramatic impact His imminent return should be having on us.

The disciples and others were expecting that when Messiah came, He would set up and rule an earthly kingdom. As we now know, Jesus physical reign on earth that His disciples were anticipating is a future event that will take place when He comes again.

So, you’ve read the book, Jesus’ next big appearance will be for Him to physically return and rule the earth for 1,000 years from His throne in Jerusalem, right? The answer is “No”! Actually, this will NOT be Jesus’ next appearance. The reason is that Jesus is coming back not once more, but twice more!

The two future comings of our Lord are the rapture and what is referred to as His Second Coming. These two coming events are sometimes confused or misunderstood as a single event, but they are two very distinct events which take place a little over seven years apart.

So, this morning, we’re going to move past His first coming and examine His next major appearance – the rapture and its implications for us.

The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ have some similarities and if you’re not careful, you can easily think a passage is speaking about the rapture when it’s talking about the Second Coming or vice versa. In fact, even when you are being careful, it can sometimes still be difficult to interpret which of the two events is being described

Our focus this morning is on the rapture, but to help us better understand it, we’ll first look at the main differences between the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. We’ll examine a few key passages, but in the interest of time, we won’t be able to go over them all.

This chart lists some of the significant differences of the two events.

Rapture and Second Coming Contrasts

Rapture

1.               Translation of all believers

2.               Translated saints go to heaven

3.               Earth not judged

4.               Imminent, any-moment, signless

5.               Not in the Old Testament

6.               Believers only

7.               Before the day of wrath (the Tribulation)

8.               No reference to Satan

9.               Christ comes for His own

10.          He comes in the air

11.          He claims His bride

12.          Only His own see Him

13.          Tribulation begins

Second Coming

1.                No translation at all

2.                Translated saints return to the earth

3.                Earth judged and righteousness established

4.                Follows definite predicted signs, including tribulation

5.                Predicted often in the Old Testament

6.                Affects all men

7.                Concluding the day of wrath (comes at the end of the Tribulation)

8.                Satan bound

9.                Christ comes with His own

10.           He comes to the earth

11.           He comes with His bride

12.           Every eye shall see Him

13.           Millennial kingdom begins

Key Aspects of the Rapture:

1.     Deliverance

·        The most obvious teaching about the rapture is that it is God’s rescue plan for the church from the tribulation that He will send upon the world. Because of the great wickedness of mankind, the world is in store for an enormous outpouring of God’s wrath.

Mt 24:21

21“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

·        If you read through God’s judgments on the earth in Revelation, you think about what an incredibly horrible time it will be for people to go through. One of the most basic and exciting teachings about the rapture is that God will dramatically rescue us so that we won’t have to go through these great tribulations that He will send upon the earth. It’s like the old movies where a young damsel in distress is tied to a railroad track with a train fast approaching. And then, just in the nick of time, the hero arrives on his white horse, unties and rescues her seconds before the freight train rushes by. Well the Great Tribulation is like that barreling freight train. Just before it arrives in the world, Jesus shows up to deliver His children, (the church) from the horrible judgments that will be released on the world.

1 Th 1:10

10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Rv 3:10

10’Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

·        I assure you, that you don’t want to be around for the pouring out of God’s wrath as He judges the world, and because of God’s mercy on us we won’t have to be. So that’s the first aspect of the rapture. Jesus will remove us. He’ll literally snatch us up to remove us from the Great Tribulation that He is sending upon all the earth.

2.     Joining with Christ

·        Remember Jesus’ prayer in John 17. He says….

24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

·        Jesus desired for us to be with Him. That desire has not yet been fulfilled. Right now, Jesus is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. We, His church, are still here on earth, but Jesus’ prayer will, of course be answered and His desire will be fulfilled. When we are raptured, Jesus’ prayer will be answered and we will from then on be forever with Him!

Jn 14:2-3

2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

We, the church are the bride of Christ. He has left His bride in the world temporarily so that He might sanctify her, but He promised to come back and get us.

Eph 5:27

27 that He (Christ) might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

When Jesus promised His disciples to come again, He was specifically speaking of the rapture. Though He must now leave them, the time would come when He’d return for them and take them up to be with Him. Or take a look in first Thessalonians where Paul gives a detailed explanation of the rapture.

1 Th 4:16-17

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Harpazo means to seize, pluck, pull, take (by force). When Jesus raptures us, regardless of where we are or what we are doing, we will literally be seized and forcibly taken up to meet Him in the air.

3.     Transformation

·        Do you know that our body of flesh and blood is ineligible to go to heaven? No, this body that has been corrupted by sin doesn’t qualify. So, what are we going to do – trade in this sin stained body and get a brand new perfect body that’s perfectly suitable for heaven? Yes, that’s exactly what is going to happen!

1 Co 15:50-53

50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Php 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

·        These old bodies that are hobbled by sin will be discarded, never again to succumb to temptation. No longer will we find ourselves doing the things we don’t want to do or not practicing what we want to do. That will all become a faint memory when Jesus gives us a new glorious, sinless, perfect body when we meet Him in the air.

1 Jn 3:1-2

1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

·        That’s pretty neat. Did you notice what our new body is going to be like? It’s going to be like His body.  We’re going to get a body like Jesus’! Wow, is that exciting or what?! Knowing about what will happen when we meet the Lord in the air, we should really be looking forward with eagerness to the event.

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